So, about an hour ago I finished playing The Beginner’s Guide. A ninety minute long autobiographical exploration, the game was easily the most personally resonant, raw, cathartic video game I have ever played.

I tried to say thank you to the creator on Twitter when I finished. Thank you didn’t feel appropriate. No response to the creator felt appropriate. The only response that feels right for this game is silence.

I wrote notes while playing about all of the emotional touch stones that were resonating with me. I wrote notes about all of the things I personally felt so alone in that this game seemed to mirror. I planned to write a review about the ways the game personally resonated with me like no other piece of media before has.

I scrapped them all.

Words don’t feel justified right now.

Words would only cheapen what I experienced.

The Beginner’s Guide is a game you need to go into completely blind. If anyone wants to know what emotional themes in the game resonated with me so strongly, email I don’t feel I can talk about those details in the review. It just doesn’t feel right after playing the game to its conclusion.

Seriously, I know I’ve told you very little about the game, but please just this once take me on my word. The Beginner’s Guide is ninety mins you owe it to yourself to play.

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  1. You know that guy at work, school, what-have-you, that always has a cool new thing to show you? That just goes on and on about how Dark Souls has the best level design since the NES days? About how The Stanley Parable is one of the most thoughtful and worthwhile things you could experience in video games? The one who lauds over Journey, and the themes it brings forth about the nature of human interaction?

    That’s me. I fully expected to come in guns-a-blazin’ to praise this game before I played it, putting my own expectations onto the 2nd game of the creator of THE STANLEY PARABLE; it was going to be an artistic masterpiece, I thought, something I now think I subconsciously would have used to prop myself up and feel like I was part of something bigger, smarter.

    That all seems inappropriate now. Like you said, it feels like it would cheapen it. Even this comment feels like too much. The Beginner’s Guide has left me raw, and makes me think I have some work to do on myself as a person.

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